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11.30 7 Apr 2018


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Bollywood star Salman Khan has been granted bail after initially being convicted and jailed for poaching an endangered species of antelope.

The highly-paid 52-year-old star was jailed in India for five years after being found guilty of killing rare antelopes known as black bucks on a hunting trip while shooting a movie in 1998.

A lawyer for Khan, Mahesh Bora, told reporters a judge in Jodhpur, western India, had today signed a bail form.

According to the Hindustan Times, the judge agreed to the bail so the actor can file an appeal against his conviction and sentencing.

Khan has spent two nights in jail since being sentenced.

The case concerns the alleged illegal killing of blackbucks, or indian antelopes, in 1998.
It is said to have happened in the village of Kankani, near Jodhpur, where family drama "Hum Saath Saath Hain" was being made.

A member of the Bishnoi community - a religious sect which opposes the killing of animals - claimed to have witnessed the shooting.

Khan has denied the allegations throughout, with his lawyers arguing the blackbucks died of natural causes such as overeating, and that there was no evidence to suggest they had been shot.

Four other actors who had faced charges over the alleged poaching were acquitted this week.

During the hearing on Thursday, Khan was also handed a 10,000 rupee (€125) fine as he was led into custody.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri reportedly described the star as a "habitual offender" as he was sentenced.


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